Essential Equipment and Prevention Tips
Whether you’re heading out to ride the hundreds of miles of pristine single-track in Park City, cycling to the top of Empire Pass, or taking your kids out for a family ride, biking in the Wasatch is about as good as it gets. That said, as with all things in the mountains, practicing safety and being prepared in case of an emergency is paramount.
While this list will help keep you safe on your rides, it’s important to remember to teach your children to stay safe. Over 40% of riders in the U.S. are children under the age of 14 and account for 65% of bicycle-related injuries. Of course, for all riders young and old, the most effective tool to prevent major injuries or even death is to always wear a helmet. Head injuries account for the vast majority of injuries on a bicycle, remember to model the habit of always wearing a helmet for your children and be sure they do not get on their bikes without one.
Essential Bike Safety Equipment
- A Certified Bicycle Helmet
- Front and Rear Reflectors
- Reflective Clothing
- Front and Rear Lights
- First Aid Kit
- Ample Water and Food
- Extra Tubes
- Tire Pump or CO2 Inflator
- Repair Kit and Tools
- Credit Card or Cash
Bike Helmet Tips
- Remember a bicycle helmet is a necessity not an accessory. Always wear a helmet when you ride.
- Ensure you are wearing your helmet correctly. Your helmet should fit snugly but comfortably and should sit on top of your head in a level position. The helmet should not rock back and forth or from side to side. The straps of the helmet should always be buckled and should fit snugly under your chin. Be sure your children’s helmets fit snugly before they get on their bike.
- Buy a helmet that meets or exceeds the safety standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANZI) Z-90.4, the Snell Memorial Foundation B-90 or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F1447.
Before You Go Biking
Before heading out on a ride be sure you prepare your essential safety equipment. As well, be sure you prepare for the ride and the conditions, and always check the weather beforehand. As well:
- Learn the rules of the road and obey all traffic laws. Always ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against; use appropriate hand signals; respect traffic signals; stop at all intersections, marked and unmarked; and stop and look both ways before entering a street.
- Know your route and tell someone your planned route. Whether you’re riding on the road or on the trails, review a map before you head out.
Whenever possible ride with a friend or a group.
- Try to plan your ride so that you are back by dark. If you are uncertain you will be back before dusk, bring a headlamp or bike light.
If the weather may turn, bring clothing to protect you.
- With children, always teach them to ride in safe areas such as sidewalks, driveways, or open and empty parking lots. Try to find flat areas to teach your kids to balance and break properly.